With Roman Reigns now firmly planted on Friday Night SmackDown, WWE’s new World Heavyweight Championship will be exclusive to Monday Night Raw.
On May 8th a tournament began to crown the first-ever champion and it kicked off in a big way.
Cody Rhodes opened the show by talking about conquering Brock Lesnar and how much being the new World Champion would mean to him. However, those words would come back to haunt him.
In the first of two Triple Threat matches it was Seth Rollins who picked up the win over Shinsuke Nakamura and Damian Priest. Although Priest was still struggling with a leg injury after his battle with Bad Bunny, he delivered another strong showing but it wasn’t enough.
Rollins grabbed the win after hitting a Frog Splash on Nakamura while he held Priest in a submission. With Priest out of the ring, The Visionary hit a Pedigree on Nakamura to grab the win.
In the second Triple Threat, Finn Balor earned the victory after pinning The Miz, but that was only part of the story. With Cody Rhodes seemingly on his way to victory, he was attacked by Brock Lesnar. The Beast flattened the American Nightmare with an F-5 on the floor before repeating the trick through the announce table.
An irate Lesnar then challenged Rhodes to a fight at Night of Champions.
"LOOK AT THIS FACE!"#WWERawpic.twitter.com/k5aEFixLrh
— WWE (@WWE) May 9, 2023
Seth Rollins Moves Closer To New World Heavyweight Championship
This set up a main event between Seth Rollins and Finn Balor. In a nice twist, Balor became the first-ever Universal Champion following a win over Rollins back in 2016.
However, on this occasion, it was Rollins who emerged victorious. Balor managed to dodge an attempt at a Stomp, but when Rollins went for it again he had no answer.
Seth Rollins will meet the winner of the second semi-final who will be decided on SmackDown at Night of Champions.